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|Official Interview With The Man Behind Akpabio's Defeat by Princedapace(m): 8:32am On Jun 13|
SEN. CHRIS EKPENYONG SPEAKS IN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW
…WHY I AM CALLED UKARAKPA
… MY MISSION IN THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
Few weeks to the Swearing-in of National Assembly legislators in Nigeria, a team of journalists including the Editor of RolanTimes E-magazine had the privilege of interviewing Distinguished Senator Chris EKPENYONG at EMJM Hotel in Uyo.
In this special and exclusive report, ROLANTIMES presents the full excerpts of that revealing and bombastic interview for your reading pleasure and information.
ROLANTIMES: Sir, they call you “Ukarakpa”, why do people call you that name?
EKPENYONG: In 2003, people masterminded to take over my office as the Deputy Governor and the arrow head of that onslaught was God’swill Akpabio who later suspiciously became the Governor of the State. He conspired with others including Dr. Chris Ekong to remove me as a Deputy Governor whereas when we formed PDP between 1998 and 1999 I never saw him in Abuja and in Uyo. When I was asked to bring my personal resources to support the growth of PDP in Akwa Ibom State I never saw him. But through the benevolent of the then Governor Victor Attah he was brought into Government and he happens to come from my Federal constituency. So when he came in 2002 he plotted my removal and in 2003 he wanted to be Deputy Governor. When they tried and failed, the then State PDP Chairman, late Chief Tony Emenyi, at a campaign in Eket while inviting me to mount the podium with the Governor described me as ‘Ukarakpa’. This means they have tried everything possible to kill me him (me) but he emerged victorious, swallowing all lesser animals. That is how I came be known as “Ukarakpa”.
ROLANTIMES: What does the victory mean to you and how do you intend to make a difference?
EKPENYONG: My election as a senator is God’s design. God says this is opportune time for me to join hands with Gov. Udom Emmanuel and work for development of Akwa Ibom as a senator to ensure there that there are job opportunities, ensure there is empowerment. God through Udom Emmanuel says Chris Ekpenyong you are going to be a senator. Even though for Akwa Ibom North-West (Ikot Ekpene) Senatorial District but you are that senator that will speak from that segment of the State and for the overall interest of the State. So I am elated.
I am going to collaborate with the State and I am going to ensure that my Senatorial District which has been cut off from the State and National level is been re-linked. I want to ensure that there is a symbiotic relationship so that we can also be developed. When I had a meeting with the Current Deputy Senate President a few days ago, I was amazed that, as a Senator, he has been able to assist the Government of his State to construct road from Enugu up to Abakiliki. But here we have Senators, we have people who work in Government Agencies that were created through the instrumentality of Constitution and resources of this State when we were fighting resource control such NDDC, instead of using it as an intervening medium to expand our capacity and our developmental uplift, we were using it to oppose the Government of the State. We will check that; that is my function. We are going to ensure that there is always unity between the representatives at various levels and the executive in the State for the overall wellbeing of the people.
ROLANTIMES: Beyond politics, you are also a very successful businessman against the erroneous impression that Akwa Ibom people don’t succeed in business. What is the guiding principles behind your success?
EKPENYONG: When I was in Lagos, the misconception amongst people from Western and Eastern Nigeria was that an average ‘Calabar’ man cannot succeed in business. That was erroneous. I served as a corps member in 1982 and in 1983 I became a member of Cross River State House of Assembly and later joined Chief Don Etiebet’s Company. My duty was to ensure that he succeeded. Because I worked for his success, not to pull him down, God also rewarded me to become successful.
I started business with N300.00 (Three Hundred Naira only). So when I see young people looking for millions to start business, it makes me laugh. The first contract I had was N20,000 (Twenty Thousand Naira). My wife and I had to go borrowing to execute the contract.We borrowed N2,000 to supply air conditioners to Union Bank. We never made profit but we kept our words – we returned that money with 10% interest and a bottle of wine in two weeks as we promised. The man was amazed.
But today, in my hotel alone we have 160 staff, in my farm in Obot Akara I have well over 100 staff and in Lagos I have more than 50 staff working with me. So it is hard work, honesty and God’s favour. You must show honesty and hard work.
ROLANTIMES: Sir, we are told that whenever you appear amongst other Senators, you are always accorded a rousing welcome. How was the euphoria of being received by other Senators as the person that defeated Senator Akpabio?
EKPENYONG: It is an ongoing event. The atmosphere was the same when I attended the party meeting in Abuja recently. It was the same uproar when I introduced myself as Chris Ekpenyong, Senator-Elect. Even at the airport all eyes are always on me. It shows you that you can attain any height with humility. My defeating Godswill Akpabio is God’s desire and design and everywhere I go people want to take a glimpse at the person that defeated Akpabio.
ROLANTIMES: Sir, what do you expect from Governor Udom Emmanuel in the next four years?
EKPENYONG: Governor Udom Emmanuel has a virtue of believing in God and truthfulness. What happened in the least election shows that he has strong faith in God. If he can ensure the takeoff of Ibom Airline, and then God stands with him to ensure the political atmosphere in Nigeria will allow Ibom Deep Seaport to become a reality then he would have written his name in gold. I also expect that peace and security to continue and the environment will be conducive for investors to come in. The rest is peripheral. Of course, every sensible administrator has to open roads and other things.
ROLANTIMES: How is your relationship with His Excellency, Former Governor Victor Attah like?
EKPENYONG: Too beautiful, he was here (in this hotel) the other day. He came to congratulate me recently. When I came down, he said ‘His Excellency, Distinguished Senator Chris Ekpenyong’, and that was gratifying to me. If a former Governor, my boss, can acknowledge me, alongside men of God, who do you think can derail that? I enjoy very sound friendship with Attah.
ROLANTIMES: What message do you have for your constituency and Akwa Ibom in General?
EKPENYONG: My plea to all the elders, women and youths in Akwa Ibom North – West (Ikot Ekpene) Senatorial District is for them to be patient with me. We will re-invent our lives. I must come back to them. I must always take their input to the Red Chamber. Whatever project I can attract must always be put on the table and the tripod of the Senatorial District must, that is the Abak axis, the Ikot ekpene axis and Ikono/Ini axis must always be carried along. No segment will be left out. I have cognate experience to be a ranking Senator. I hope that is noted. I had been a legislator, I had been in public office as a Deputy Governor and I have been a manager and employer of labour in the private sector. So what kind of experience do you want?
ROLANTIMES: Thank You sir.
EKPENYONG: God bless you.
|Re: Official Interview With The Man Behind Akpabio's Defeat by dukie25: 8:44am On Jun 13|
Akpabio will enjoy this interview
|Re: Official Interview With The Man Behind Akpabio's Defeat by Princedapace(m): 9:32am On Jun 13|
Seriously, he will. No man is God in life.
1 Like 1 Share
|Re: Official Interview With The Man Behind Akpabio's Defeat by Flyingngel(m): 10:15am On Jun 13|
In as much as Akpabio thought that it is always by his power that he accomplish all his political exploit and that was his Achilles heel but Ukarakpa did not do anything when he hold sway as a deputy governor.
Many road in Obot Akara were dead trap; he was interested in building his hotel.
Greedy set of people.
|Re: Official Interview With The Man Behind Akpabio's Defeat by aolawale025: 11:04am On Jun 13|
Only God makes men
|Re: Official Interview With The Man Behind Akpabio's Defeat by myddmodnabastard: 11:41am On Jun 13|
|Re: Official Interview With The Man Behind Akpabio's Defeat by Princedapace(m): 4:27pm On Jun 13|
Exactly my point, all these politicians just dey use Nigerians play football!
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